This morning we had our first and probably only snowfall of the year and so, as I sit here watching the snowfall and listening to Vivaldi’s Winter Concertos (from The Four Seasons) and the Frozen soundtrack on repeat, I thought that now would be an apt time to share the non melt-able snowflake flurry I made for our Christmas tree both this year and last year.
The end of November marked a year since I last traveled anywhere out of state. For Thanksgiving in 2019 (B.C.), we went to visit family in Pennsylvania. It was a great trip filled with fun, games, and lots of food.
The day after Thanksgiving (November 29th), we went into Pittsburgh to tour the Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning.
If you’ve never been, the Cathedral of Learning is a building on the University of Pittsburgh campus that is most famous for its 31 Nationality Rooms. Started in 1938, the Nationality Rooms are a series of classrooms that each represent a different country and its culture. Each of the rooms were actually designed by people of the respective country and took between 3-10 years to complete. You can read more about the rooms in much more detail and also view photos and video tours of the rooms on the University of Pittsburgh’s website HERE.
Photos don’t fully do it justice, it is a magnificent building and all of the rooms are beautifully decorated. For a brief moment I wished I could go to school there, just so that I could study in the vast common room and feel like I was studying at Hogwarts.
Because it was late November when we went, all of the rooms were decorated for the holidays in the traditional styles of the respective countries.
In one of the rooms (I want to say it was the Swiss room), there was a small Christmas tree that was adorned with beautiful crocheted lace snowflakes. Immediately the desire to make snowflakes when I got home went to the top of my “To Make” list. This was further solidified when my mom saw the tree and told me I needed to make some snowflakes for our Christmas tree. I mean, if my mom wants it, who am I to say no? I didn’t get sidetracked, I listened to my mom! 😉
When we got back to Memphis, I got my tiny hooks and crochet thread out, channeled my inner Elsa and set to work on making a flurry of snowflakes for our tree.
To keep things nice and simple, I stuck with classic white crochet thread (which I had an abundant supply of). As for patterns, I mostly used charted patterns over written patterns, as I find it easier for more intricate items such as these. I found the most luck with vintage German and Slavic pattern charts. As an added challenge, I never used the same chart twice, so that just like real snowflakes, every single one was unique.
Once they were complete and had all of their ends woven in, I soaked them in a mixture of cornstarch and water and then blocked them into shape. The corn starch stiffened them and kept the dainty lace patterns open. It did not affect the color of the finished snowflakes.
To hang them, I simply cut lengths of crochet thread and, once the snowflakes were dry I strung it through a point on the snowflake and then tied the ends in a knot.
I made ten snowflakes in total (that was all my wrist could take between that and concerts). This year I did make a few more to add to the collection, this time out of silver thread, but I didn’t have time to block and stiffen them, so they will be joining the tree for Christmas 2021.
I then handed the finished snowflakes off to my younger sisters to decorate the tree with. I don’t even bother with decorating the tree anymore, they like to do it and this way we’re not all crowded around the tree fighting over where to put what ornament. I just sit on the couch and watch them argue and move each other’s ornaments around.
Yes, the tree is still up.
Did any of you make up a flurry of snowflakes this year? Is your tree still up? Let me know in the comments!
This post first appeared on yarn-bending.com.